After prayer and reflection, God answered through the beautiful thoughts and writings of others.
Prayer of St. Francis
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love.
- For it is in giving that we receive.
- It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Richard Rohr offers some very good insight in how to do that from his book, The Naked Now.
- If you want others to be more loving, choose to love first.
- If you want a reconciled the outer world, reconcile your own inner world.
- If you are working for peace out there, create it inside as well.
- If you notice other people's irritability, let go of your own.
- If you wish to find some outer stillness, find it within yourself.
- If you are working for justice, treat yourself justly too.
- If you find yourself resenting the faults of others, stop resenting your own.
- If the world seems desperate, let go of your own despair.
- If you want a just world, start being just in small ways yourself.
- If your situation feels hopeless, honor the one spot of hope inside you.
- If you want to find God, then honor God within you, and you will always see God beyond you. For it is only God in you who knows where and how to look for God.
Yes, very simple indeed, but so very, very hard to put into practice, and that is the key - practice. The more I try, the easier it will be to follow these premises. As an aide, I copied the above onto a small card I intend to carry with me for a quick referral during my enevitable lapses.
This will be helpful, but I do not need to be overly anxious about remembering all of it. If my heart is truly in the right place, God will do the rest. As I have mentioned before, it is not how many times I have failed, but how hard I try. It is the effort that counts, one step, one incident at a time - remembering when I do fail, God has already forgiven me. All I have to do is ask and then accept it.
What will all of this lead to? Joy, and peace the world cannot give. I am all for it. How about you?